The Kermode Uncut Film Club is back with Terry Gilliam's brilliant sci-fi thriller Twelve Monkeys. Watch the intro and the film and let me know what you think.

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  • Comment number 88. Posted by Tom

    on 4 Mar 2013 20:29

    A summary of all Gilliam films in 3 words:

    Messy, messy mess.

    12 Monkeys, no exception.

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  • Comment number 87. Posted by jwiggy

    on 28 Feb 2013 15:23

    What a great movie. You have a main character, James Cole (in what must be Willis' finest performance) who you feel for in so many ways. You pity him, fear him and fear for him. You worry for his sanity and you cheer at his resilience. Then finally you weep for him. It's much much more than a sci-fi film.

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  • Comment number 86. Posted by Owain Parry-George

    on 20 Feb 2013 00:55

    I loved Looper. The performances were fantastic, the story was engrossing and the film was shot beautifully. But as soon as those credits rolled I was compelled to compare it to my favourite time traveller movie of all time Twelve Monkeys. Twelve Monkeys is still my favourite.

    Twelve Monkeys has all of the above, plus an amazing Marc Caro, Jean-Pierre Jeunet art style. The scenes of the future in particular reminded me of The City of Lost Children (although these films were released in the same year). This style makes the film as a whole feel like its on the brink of insanity.

    This is one of Gilliam's best. Rubbing shoulders with Fear and Loathing and staring firmly at the back of the head of Brazil.

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  • Comment number 85. Posted by robert paulson

    on 10 Feb 2013 10:34

    I was just to young(14) to see this at the cinema when it came out, so I originally got to see it when my sister rented it from the video store a few months later. As far as I can remember its the one and only time I have ever watched a movie, gone to bed thinking about it, then woken up and watched the whole thing again without getting out of my pyjamas.

    Its a perfectly layered film which even after a second viewing left my teenage brain struggling to fully grasp everything that had just gone on. Conveniently it popped up on telly last night (in NZ) so I got to see it again and its lost none of its power as a film. It does the what these days Dr K might refer to as the Christopher Nolan thing; that being that the its offers both blockbuster entertainment (Bruce Willis, Brad Pitt, suspense, tension) and has a clever plot with 'high' concept at its heart that the film rightly assumes its audience will be smart enough to appreciate.

    Given its success on almost every level I can't understand Why Hollywood hasn't given Gillingham more opportunities to make more films like it.

    PS Apart from Looper another companion piece could be the film Contagion which I saw a week or two ago.

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  • Comment number 84. Posted by markw

    on 7 Feb 2013 20:41

    One thing this film seems to unite all viewers with is that the film is much, much better upon subsequent viewings, and that was certainly the case with me. First time round, I even found it a little confusing in places, but like every good film, watch it again and you see so much more you may have missed first time around. Brad Pitt and Madeline Stowe were phenomenally good, which by definition means that Bruce Willis was even better, because you don't notice him 'acting'. Great direction by Gilliam, and for once a sci-fi thriller that is clever, compelling and hugely likable. However, watching this the same night that our Bruce appeared on The One Show to publicise Die Hard, I have to say that THAT is the performance that will stay with me far longer than Twelve Monkeys will...

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  • Comment number 83. Posted by eeevol

    on 7 Feb 2013 09:42

    Just a minor point, but does anyone else think that some of the visual elements are reminiscent of Jeunet? Soe of the set design and extreme camera angles just remind me a bit of Cty of Lost Children, though it's all good. I think Dark City and Children of Men (that was unintentional!) also owe a debt to the style of Twelve Monkeys, and again that's mean to be a compliment.

    For an underrated time/space continuum, er, hilarity I do recommend the film Triangle, starring Melissa George of Hunted fame, all set on a deserted cruise ship and thoroughly messes with your head.

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  • Comment number 82. Posted by Brian Hutton

    on 4 Feb 2013 10:47

    Getting away with murder...thats how Gilliam puts it in 'The Hamster Factor' Making an art-house film in the hollywood system. I think this is the best example of when an individual butts heads with the studio system...I think Gilliam needs a producer or studio to hate...his best work has come out of this..Brazil , The Fisher King and Twelve Monkeys. He needs final cut, but budgety restrictions also, it enables or forces him to be more creative. Twelve Monkeys also gives us Bruce Willis best performance ever, even better than Pulp Fiction. The question is...Is James Cole, a Time Traveler or a Madman.....the answer is clear...he's both. And Gilliam never lets up with the journey of the Time Travelling lunatic, when he exists in two worlds of people who are clearly madder than he is, both past and future...or present....The next time Gilliam impressed me in this way was with Tideland.

    Brian From Luton

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  • Comment number 81. Posted by John

    on 2 Feb 2013 14:16

    Twelve Monkeys is one of those rare films that linger with you for weeks, even years, I still sometimes think of it when I see another film. It somehow encapsulated the chaos of life and the events that shape us and history. I read once that we can only predict the future AFTER and the event happens then only do we know why. For example a Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip shot Arch Duke Ferdinald and in that one act set the 20th century From WW1/2 and Russian communism.

    12 monkeys somehow shows you how that works, its dizzying and a classic. I seen it in the flicks with a fellow film buff and I remember coming out in that post good film hi and then gabbing over a drink about it. At the time Brad Pitt was the new good looking kid on the block who the wimmins were ogling about and I remember thing Jaysus he can act as well "the bastard" he has it all.

    Looper was a great film but no way a 12 monkeys.

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  • Comment number 80. Posted by BoitnottMK

    on 1 Feb 2013 18:25

    Dr. Kermode,

    So glad you picked this film. I have been a long time fan of this film and have tried to convince many people to watch it. I think at first glance the movie looks a like a low-budget standard sci-fi movie. However, as you put it, you get more and more out of it when you watch it again. In fact, on further glances, I realized that the movies low-budget look actually enhances the overall theme of the movie. Much like Usul added above. The movie covers so many interesting things and handles the tricky plot devices of time-travel very well (much like T2). Brad Pitts role is so incredible and fun to watch. Also Bruce Willis does an amazing job, especially in the scenes where he seems to be going crazy.

    Could not agree more that this movie is incredible. I must now go watch it...

    - Mike in the US

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  • Comment number 79. Posted by ToolManDan

    on 31 Jan 2013 18:03

    An outstanding movie, probably my favourite second to 'The Fisher King'. We can talk about the fine performances from the leads, but we forget how it also features an performance from the man who is now one of my favourite actors, David Morse. My favourite moment of the movie is a simple one, basically down to one tiny tick from Bruce Willis when he says the word, "fruitcake". Everyone should watch again now and laugh as I do every time!

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